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Trip Tank for Drilling Rig

Not included in the mud recycling system, the design for trip tank is to protect
the inner wall of drilling hole when the drilling stem out and in the hole and
prevent the kick off. Trip Tank is always equipped with a level gauge so that the
operator could control the mud capacity on the operation board. To some
extent, trip tank is a independent tank from the mud cleaning system.
Trip Tank is a small metal tank with small capacity about 20-40 bbls with 1 bbl
divisions inside and it is used to monitor the well. There are several operations
that we can use the trip tank to monitor the well as follows;

Trip Out Of Hole (TOOH): While tripping out of hole, the trip tank is used to
track volume of mud replacing volume of drill string. The volume of mud
should be equal to displacement volume of any kind of tubular tripped out of
hole.
1. Trip In Hole (TIH): While tripping in hole, the drilling string (bit, BHA and
drill pipe) is ran back in the hole, the trip tank must be use to keep track
volume gain. The expected volume gain should be equal to the
displacement volume of whole string.

2. Flow check: The trip tank is utilized to determine well condition in order to
see if the well is still under static condition.

The importance of trip tank is as follows:

1. Provide sufficient hydrostatic pressure to prevent influx from reservoir. When


TOH, mud hydrostatic will be lost because mud volume must substitute
drill pipe volume pulled out of hole. If hydrostatic pressure decreases too
much, influx from reservoir can come into the hole and make a trouble in

well control. For this reason, mud in trip tank must be filled into hole to
maintain hydrostatic pressure.

2. Kick Indicator: Volume of mud from the trip tank is pumped in the hole
can be an indicator that relates to a situation occurring in wellbore as
kick. If the volume of mud measured by trip tank is less than the
expected volume of drill pipe volume tripped out of hole, the suspect
problem is kick because volume of kick substitutes volume of mud.

The circulation system while tripping:

I would like to show the circulation system while tripping out of hole therefore
you will be more understanding about how trip tank works.
While Tripping Out of Hole (TOH), a trip tank pump will circulate mud into a
bell nipple in order to keep the hole full all the time and the over-flow mud will
return back to the trip tank. Once every stand is pulled, the mud volume in the
well will decrease because the drill pipe is pulled out of hole. Since the trip
tank pump is always run while tripping, the annulus will be full all the time
(see figure below).

Figure 1- The diagram of trip tank

Trip Tank and Its Importance to Well Control


Trip tank is a small tank which has a capacity of 20 50 bbl and its shape is
tall and shallow because it can effectively detect volume changes. The trip tank
system has the ability to continuously fill the well and take return back to the
tank. With this capability, it will keep the hole full all the time and the volume
changes either increasing or decreasing can tell the condition of the well.

The diagram (Figure 2) below demonstrates how the trip tank is lined up.

Figure 2 Trip Tank Line Up To Continuously Fill The Hole

Each trip tank has a pump which will suck the fluid from the tank and pump
into the well via the fill up line connected to a bell nipple under the rig floor.
The fluid return will flow back via a return line and back to the trip tank. The
float in the trip tank is connected to the wire and the position of the float will
represent the trip tank volume indicator. Whats more, nowadays several rigs
have installed the electronic instrumentation for the accurate volume

measurement. This will help personnel on the rig track what is going on the
well very quickly and accurately. As you can see, the complete system allows
personnel to monitor the well.
The trip tank must be maintained in order to avoid solid build up, pump and
valve failure, leakage, etc. Moreover, it is very critical to frequently check the
float and the electronic instrument to see if they are in good condition.
Stripping operation requires a separate trip tank which has very small capacity
of 3 to 4 bbl therefore it is not recommended to use the normal trip tank for
this operation. The small volume tank, called strip tank, has more accuracy
and suite for the operation.

How The Trip Tank Monitor The Well For Well Control
Trip Out of Hole
While pulling out of hole, each stand of drillstring pulled out must have the
same amount of drilling fluid to replace the drillstring volume. For instant,
each stand should take around 0.8 bbl. If you pull 10 stands out of hole, you
should see at least 8 bbl of mud volume decrease in the trip tank. If you see
the volume displacement less than what it should be, it indicates that the well
is swabbed in.

Figure 3 Trip Tank While Tripping Out

Trip In Hole
While tripping in hole, mud will be pushed out of the well to the trip tank
because steel displacement will replace the drilling fluid in the well. The
volume displacement should be the same as the steel displacement. If the
volume displacement is more than the steel displacement, the well may has
some unwanted kick in the well.

Figure 4 Trip Tank While Tripping In

Flow Check

While flow checking, the volume in the trip tank should be at the same level.
There should not be any changes. Increasing volume in the trip tank means the
well is flowing. Conversely, if the volume decreases, the well has static loss.

Figure 5 Trip Tank While Flow Checking

Hole Monitoring Procedures While Running Casing


or Tubing
This is the example of hole monitoring procedure while running casing and this
will give you some ideas only. You need to adjust it to suit with your operation.

Perform pre-job safety meeting with personnel involved in operation.


A Full Opening Safety Valve (FOSV) and a closing handle with correction
bottom connections that fit with of drill string which is being used must be
available on the drill floor at all time. Driller must check this equipment. It
must leave in an opened position. It may be required to have cross over from
FOSV to casing connection.
The Driller is responsible for well monitoring while tripping. The driller
has the right to shut the well in if there is an indicator of well control or any
doubt while tripping out.
Trip sheet must be prepared with correct drill string/ tubular
displacement.
The Driller is responsible for well monitoring while tripping. The driller
has the right to shut the well in if there is an indicator of well control or any
doubt while running casing or tubing.

Shut In Procedure Running Casing or Tubing for Well Control Situation


must be posted in the driller cabin where the driller can see it easily at all
time.

Note:

shut in procedure depends on requirement on each company.

Kick detection devices as flow show, Pit Volume Totalizer monitor, and
alarm must be tested properly and regularly.

Mud logger kick detection devices must also tested in the same way as rig
instrumentation to confirm an accuracy and readiness.
Set the trip tank gain/loss and the flow show at required level.
Use mud pit to monitor the well if larger casing is ran. Use a trip tank to
monitor the well if a smaller casing or tubing is ran. This depends on the rig
system.
Track volume displacement with two separate systems if possible (one
from the rig system and another one from mud logger system).
Verify all well control equipment is properly lined up to shut the well in.
Confirm the correct line up for well monitoring via a trip tank.
Confirm the correct line up from mud pumps to the rig floor.
Review shut in procedure while running casing or tubing.
Review any foreseeable issues with Tool pusher and Customer
Representative
Ensure correct casing or tubing tally while running in hole
Trip sheets must be recorded every stand of casing / tubing ran.
Assistant Driller has a responsibility to accurately fill a trip sheet while
running casing/tubing.
Trip sheets must be kept in a tool pusher office after tripping operation
completed.
While running casing/tubing, if the volume discrepancy is seen,
Assistant Driller must inform Driller, Tool Pusher and Company
Representative. The running casing/tubing operation must be stopped for
further evaluation and a Full Open Safety Valve must be installed.
Ensure shut in while running casing/tubing procedure is posted on the
rig floor closed to the driller console
While tripping, if the volume discrepancy is seen, Assistant Driller must
inform Driller, Tool Pusher and Company Representative. The tripping
operation must be stopped for further evaluation and a Full Open Safety
Valve must be installed.

Hole Monitoring Procedures While Tripping


This is the example of hole monitoring procedure while tripping and this will
give you some ideas only. You need to adjust it to suit with your operation

Perform pre-job safety meeting with personnel involved in operation.


Ensure a trip tank is clean without any barite sag or solid that can cause
a trip tank pump failure.
Trip sheet must be prepared with correct drill string/ tubular
displacement.
A Full Opening Safety Valve (FOSV) and a closing handle with correction
bottom connections that fit with of drill string which is being used must be

available on the drill floor at all time. Driller must check this equipment. It
must leave in an opened position. It may be required to have cross over from
FOSV to drill string connection.
The Driller is responsible for well monitoring while tripping. The driller
has the right to shut the well in if there is an indicator of well control or any
doubt while tripping out.
Shut In Procedure While Tripping for Well Control Situation must be
posted in the driller cabin where the driller can see it easily at all time.

Note: shut in procedure depends on requirement on each company.

Kick detection devices as flow show, Pit Volume Totalizer monitor, and
alarm must be tested properly and regularly.

Mud logger kick detection devices must also tested in the same way as rig
instrumentation to confirm an accuracy and readiness.
Set the trip tank gain/loss and the flow show at required level.
Track volume displacement with two separate systems if possible (one
from the rig system and another one from mud logger system).
Verify all well control equipment is properly lined up to shut the well in.
Confirm the correct line up for well monitoring via a trip tank.
Confirm the correct line up from mud pumps to the rig floor.
Review shut in procedure while tripping.
At the following events, flow checks must be performed;
At the bottom of the well prior to tripping out.
o
At the deepest casing shoe.
o
Anytime that there is any doubt in the well condition.
o
Anytime that the hole displacement is not correct.
o
Prior to pulling HWDP or Drill Collars through the BOPs.
o
If the monitoring or circulating system does not work properly.
o
Review any foreseeable issues with Toolpusher and Customer
Representative
Check and maintain accurate pipe tally
Do not trip when filling up a trip tank
Perform trip drill with crew every trip if possible
Toolpusher should be on rig floor for at least first 10 stands to monitor
the operation.
Trip sheets must be recorded every stand of drill pipe pulled. Assistant
Driller has a responsibility to accurately fill a trip sheet while tripping.

Trip sheets must be kept in a tool pusher office after tripping operation
completed.
While tripping, if the volume discrepancy is seen, Assistant Driller must
inform Driller, Tool Pusher and Company Representative. The tripping
operation must be stopped for further evaluation and a Full Open Safety
Valve must be installed.
Ensure shut in while tripping procedure is posted on the rig floor closed
to the driller console
Record pick up weight and maintain a trend in a data sheet to observe
any hole issue.
Do not attempt to pull if you see abnormal drag 30 Klb over a current
pick up weight.
Any abnormal dram must be informed to Toolpusher and Customer
Representative.
If a slug is planned to pump, driller must determine volume gain from
slug.

Barrels of slug required for desired length of dry pipe


Weight of slug required for desired length of dry pipe with set volume
of slug.

The U-Tube effect must be discussed with team prior to pumping slug.
Ensure the well condition before pumping slug. Inform Toolpusher and
Customer Representative before pumping slug.
After pumping slug, it is required to wait until the well is stable prior to
continuing the tripping operation.

What Are Differences Between Possible and Positive Well


Control Indicators?
Many people tend to confuse between possible and positive well control
indicators therefore we would like to differentiate between these two well
control indicators. These two concepts are vital for well control because one
indicate the possibility of the kick but another one shows definite signs that
the well is taking back to you. In this article, we summarize all information
regarding the possible and positive kick indicators so you can use for your
work.

Possible Well Control (kick) Indications


Possible well control (kick) indicators - Mean that there is possibility to get
influx into wellbore. It MAY or MAY NOT be a kick.The indications can be
either kick or just formation react while drilling. You need to remember that
just only a single possible indicator cannot may not good enough to identify
underbalanced condition in wellbore and the possible kick indicators must be
used collectively. Therefore, drilling team on the rig needs to closely monitor
the well and prepare appropriate action plans.

The possible well control (kick) indications are as follows;

Change in drilling breaks (ROP change) If the differential between formation


pressure and hydrostatic pressure created by drilling mud decreases, there is
possibility to increase rate of penetration because the hold down effect is
decreased.

Increase drag and torque Increasing in drilling torque and drag are usually
noticed while drilling into overpressured shale formation because underbalanc
hydrostatic pressure exerted by drilling fluid column cannot to hold back the
formation intrusion into wellbore. Shale normally has low permeability so
formation fluid will not come into wellbore. Anyway, if we drill ahead pass high
shale pressure into overpressured high permeability zones such as sand or
carbonate, the formation fluid will flow into wellbore resulting in kick. This is
very important to record frequently drilling torque and drag because it could be
your well control indicator.
Decrease in Shale Density Typically, shale density will increase as we drill
deeper. If we see decrease in shale density, it may indicate that your well is in
underbalance condition because high pressure zones (abnormal pressure)
develop within large shale section. Practically, density of shale must be
measured frequency and plot against drilling depth. You can see from a chart if
there is any deviation in trend that could be an indication of change in pore
pressure.
Increase in cutting size and shape Pieces of formation may break apart and
fall into wellbore because of underbalance situation. Because rocks pieces
broken by underbalance condition are not ruined by bit, they will be more
angular and bigger than normal cutting. Larger of cutting size will be result in
difficulty to circulate them out of wellbore, hence, there will be more hole fill
and torque and drag will increase. In addition, without a proportional increase
in ROP (rate of penetration), cutting volume coming over shale shakers will
increased noticeably.

Decrease in d-Exponent Value Normally, trends of d-Exponent will increase as


we drill deeper, but this value will decrease to lower values than what we
expect in transition zones. By closely monitored d-Exponent, d-Exponent chart
will be useful for people on the rig to notify the high pressure transition zones.
Read and understand about d-Exponent and learn how to calculate dExponent and normalized d-Exponent (corrected d-Exponent).
Change in Mud property Without any chemical added into drilling fluid
system, its property change due to increasing in water and/or chloride content
indicates that formation fluid enters into the wellbore.
For some drilling mud, when salt water enters into the wellbore and mix with
drilling fluid, the mud viscosity will increase.
In water base mud with low Ph salt saturated, the mud viscosity will decrease
because of water from formation mixing with mud. On the other hand, water
contamination in oil base mud will result in viscosity increases.
Increase in Temperature from Returning Mud By observing trend of
temperature coming from mud return, temperature trend showing deviation
from the normal temperature trend can be an indication of abnormal pressure
zones, especially while drilling into transition zones.
There are some factors that you need to account for when you try to evaluate
mud temperature changes as listed below;

Surface temperature conditions

Elapsed time since tripping

Mud chemicals used

Wellbore geometry

Circulating rate

Cooling effect when drilling fluid flows through a long riser (deep water
consideration).

Increase in trip, connection and/or background gas Gas in mud, normally


called gas cut mud, does not be a sign of a well flowing because it could be gas
coming from formation. Nonetheless, personnel on the rig should keep in mind
as a possible kick indicator. Hence, flow show and PVT (pit volume total) must
be closely monitored.
Gas in the mud can come from one or more of the reasons listed below:

Drill into a formation that contains gas or hydrocarbon.


Temporally reduce in hydrostatic pressure due to swabbing effect.
Pore pressure in a formation is greater than the hydrostatic pressure
provided by drilling fluid in a wellbore.

Positive Well Control (kick) Indications:


Positive well control (wellbore influx) - Indications mean indications
showing almost 100% kick (wellbore influx) into wellbore. We can classify the
positive indicators the following categories.

Positive Well Control Indicators While drilling:


Increase in flow show Without any increasing in flow rate in, increase in
return flow indicates something coming into wellbore while drilling. Therefore,
flow show instrument provided by the rigs or service companies must be
checked and calibrated frequently.
Increase of active pit system (Pit gain) Because drilling fluid system on the rig
is a closed system, increasing in flow show without adjusting flow rate in will
cause pit gain in a pit system. Nowadays, with high technology sensors,

detecting change in pit level is easily accomplished at the rig site. However,
visually check the pit level is importance as well for double checking figure
from the sensors. Sometimes, change in pit level may be detected after the
increase in flow show because it takes more time to accumulate volume enough
to be able to detect by pit sensors.
Continue flowing while the pumps are off When pumps are turned off, bottom
hole pressure will decrease due to loss of equivalent circulating density (ECD).
If there is any flow coming after pumps off, it indicates formation influx into
wellbore.

Positive Kick Indicators While Tripping:


Trip log deviation such as short fill up while tripping out and excess pit gain
while tripping in. For tripping operation, it is very important to have a filling
system via trip tank that provides continuous hole fill all time. With utilizing
that system, we can compare fluid that is filled in or returned from wellbore
with steel volume of tubular (drill pipe, drill collar, BHA, tubing, casing, etc). If
drilling fluid volume is less than theoretical pipe displacement while tripping
out or more return fluid while running in, you need to flow check and monitor
the well.
If flow check indicates wellbore influx, crew must quickly shut the well in.
If flow check does not show any influx, drill string must be run back to
bottom in order to circulate at least bottom up to ensure hole condition.
Positive flow when pipe is static. Every time that pipe in static condition. Trip
tank with correct filling system must be monitored all time by both rig

personnel and mud logger. If volume in trip tank increases, personnel must
confirm flow check and prepare to shut the well in.

Hole Monitoring Procedures While Drilling or Milling Operation


This is the example of hole monitoring procedure while drilling or milling and
this will give you some ideas only. You need to adjust it to suit with your
operation

Perform pre-job safety meeting with personnel involved in operation.


The Driller or the toolpusher on the break is responsible for monitoring a
well condition and identifying when a well must be shut-in with safe and
correct practices.
If the driller sees a hole problem, the drilling operation must be stopped
and inform the following people: Toolpusher, Senior Toolpusher and
Company Representative.
Shut In Procedure While Drilling or Milling for Well Control Situation
must be posted in the driller cabin where the driller can see it easily at all
time.

Note: shut in procedure depends on requirement on each company.

The Driller has a responsibility to check all well control equipment and
record into the sheet at the beginning of tour.
The Driller must review the schematic for line up and ensure the correct
line up for required operation.
A drilling parameter trend sheet will be updated every hour during
drilling operations. The parameters are as follows; RPM, active pit volume, %
return flow, Rate Of Penetration (ROP), drilling torque, off bottom torque,
pickup weight / slack-off weight, mud density, gas units or percentages,
pumping pressure, Equivalent Circulating Density (ECD), etc.
The driller must monitor any drilling break and inform Tool pusher and
Customer Representative if there is drilling break.
Kick detection devices as flow show, Pit Volume Totalizer monitor, and
alarm must be tested properly and regularly.
Mud logger kick detection devices must also tested in the same way as rig
instrumentation to confirm an accuracy and readiness.
Set the PVT gain/loss and the flow show at required level.
Discuss with pump man, shaker man, centrifuge engineer and mud
engineer to have a proper communication prior to transferring any drilling
fluid. Driller and mud logger must be informed prior to making any changes
in the mud pit level. Any changes in centrifuge parameters must be also
informed a driller and a mud logger.
A full opening safety valve and a closing handle with correction bottom
connections that fit with of drill string which is being used must be
available on the drill floor at all time. It must leave in an opened position.
Driller must check this equipment.
The driller must confirm a current space out diagram and ensure the
correct height.

Monitor drilling mud properties and ensure that personnel involving in


drilling fluid as mud engineer, pump man, shaker man and centrifuge
engineer to communicate to the drilling if there is any changes in mud
properties, especially mud weight.
Discuss with shaker man to closely monitor cuttings over the shale
shakers. If excessive cuttings and/or change in casing size/shape are
observed, inform the Driller, Tool pusher and Customer Representative. It is
a possible well control indicator.
If one of the positive well control indicators is seen, the driller must shut
the well in as per a shut in procedure. Then inform Tool pusher, senior Tool
pusher and Customer Representative.
If one of the possible well control indicators is seen, the driller must stop
drilling and flow check the well. Then inform Tool pusher, senior Tool pusher
and Customer Representative.
If there is any doubt in the well condition, the driller has the right to
shut the well in. Then inform Tool pusher, senior Tool pusher and Customer
Representative. Do not try to contact any supervisors first.